Education Bill consultation

Council Leaders today (Friday) agreed that COSLA writes to the Deputy First Minister outlining their concerns around various elements contained within the Education Bill Consultation paper and to seek a meeting with him as soon as possible.

Throughout the Scottish Government’s agenda for education reform, Councils have been clear that the best interests of children and young people should be the driving force for any change. Their needs are central for Councils when they look across their local area to plan, monitor and improve all children’s services.

Local authorities share the aspiration of the Scottish Government that there should be excellence and equity for all but we are clear that this requires strong local leadership with clear lines of democratic accountability.  

The proposals outlined in the consultation put both the delivery of children’s services and the outcomes of our children and young people at risk.  

Commenting following the meeting in Edinburgh this morning, COSLA’s Education Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “There was a real feeling of uncertainty voiced at today’s meeting around the delivery of education from here on in.

“Local Authorities play a fundamental but largely unseen role in making sure all children and young people have the educational experience which will allow them to succeed in life.

“If your child wants to study a subject not offered at their school, the local authority is the one makes the arrangements behind the scenes for Council-wide access to a course.

“If your child’s school is in need of support, that support comes from the local authority.  

“If your child requires additional support this again is provided through the strategic relationships that the local authority has with the NHS and other partners.

“Councillors are accountable to their constituents for ensuring education is delivered and they are a clear port of call if something goes wrong.

“The question that councils are asking as a result of this Consultation – What is our role going forward? Who will ensure that young people can access the widest possible curriculum? Who will be there to support a school? And who will be there to ensure strategic links and joined up thinking?

“The important question for our constituents – who will be there to answer their questions when there is a problem?

“A lot of what is being proposed in the Consultation paper seems ill thought through, rushed and lacking in any meaningful role for Scottish local government.”

Article published: 
Fri, 24/11/2017 - 15:04